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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Fertiliser claim in terror trial
Artist's impression of defendants in court (Artist: Julia Quenzler)
The men, one of whom cannot be pictured, deny all the charges
One of the seven men accused of plotting to bomb UK targets told the Old Bailey the half-ton of fertiliser he bought was destined for Pakistan.

Anthony Garcia, 24, said co-accused Omar Khyam asked him to buy 600kg of ammonium nitrate, and that it was to be shipped to Pakistan.

He also said he was a rap fan who had been likened to Ali G as a teenager.

The seven men were arrested when the fertiliser was found stored in a west London depot. They deny all charges.

Asked why he bought the fertiliser, Mr Garcia told the court: "Because Khyam asked me to. It was to be shipped to Pakistan."

He said he heard no more about the fertiliser until his arrest four months later in March 2004.

He also told the court he was a rap and basketball fan and that "people used to take me as some kind of Ali G character," when he was a teenager.

But he said people began to respect him after he started raising money for Muslims in Kashmir.

Modelling ambitions

Mr Garcia also told the court that he had wanted to be a model before his arrest, and had changed his name shortly before from Rahman Adam.

This was both to help his career and to avoid repaying a loan he had taken out.

He had been brought up as part of a large family of Algerians coming to east London from Africa when he was five.

I was trying to become a model
Anthony Garcia

The family were not religious, but he became interested in Islam in his late teens as he found he was a successful fundraiser.

Asked by defence counsel Matthew Ryder: "Do you think of yourself as English or Algerian?" Mr Garcia replied: "English".

He condemned the 11 September attacks in America and Osama Bin Laden, saying the killing of innocents was against his religion.

Mr Garcia said he was and is only concerned in the Kashmiri cause, did not understand the politics of Iraq and Afghanistan and did not agree with the Taleban.

He had previously wanted to get military training in Pakistan in case he was ever called to fight for Kashmir but was turned down for being "white".

Last week Mr Khyam cut his evidence short before being questioned about the fertiliser, after telling the court Pakistani secret services had "had words" with his family.

Terror charges

The prosecution alleges the men were part of a cell linked to al-Qaeda which was targeting utilities, the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, and the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London.

Omar Khyam, 24; his brother Shujah Mahmood, 19; Waheed Mahmood, 34; and Jawad Akbar, 23, all from Crawley, Sussex; Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton, Bedfordshire; Anthony Garcia, 24, of Barkingside, east London; and Nabeel Hussain, 21, of Horley, Surrey, deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 1,300lb (600kg) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood further deny possessing aluminium powder for terrorism.

The trial continues.


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